Anniversary Of Ritz Ballroom Fire To Be Celebrated

A special concert is to be held on Sunday 6 April to commemorate the first anniversary of the fire that destroyed the former Ritz Ballroom on King’s Heath’s York Road.

The ballroom witnessed legendary performances by top rock ‘n’ roll artists Bill Haley, Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis, reggae star Jimmy Cliff and all the major 1960’s groups including The Beatles, The Move, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Pink Floyd.

After the death of owners Ma and Pa Regan, the ballroom was converted into a Cash Converters store before it was gutted by fire early on the morning of 27 March 2013.

Starting at 3 p.m. a special 3 hour commemorative concert is to be held at Fletchers Bar directly opposite the burnt out ballroom featuring the popular and award winning West Midlands group Out of The Shadows who will perform some of the greatest pop songs and instrumentals from the late 1950’s onwards.

Hailing from Stourbridge, they have regularly been voted Top Club Act by local club entertainment officers and audience members. They will be supported by the young and talented school student and singer/songwriter Harriet Harkcom.

“The burnt out ruins of the ballroom are now a bit of an eyesore so we are very keen to meet the owner of the site and Council officers soon to ensure that the plans for the redevelopment  of the site do incorporate the first ever Birmingham Civic Society Musical Heritage Plate commemorating the major role the Ritz Ballroom played in the city’s rock and pop history” said co-organisers of the King’s Heath Walk of Fame Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker.

“We hope that our concert will combine the best of the old and the new with a top local group performing covers of hits from the 1950’s and 1960’s by many of the famous musicians who played at the Ritz Ballroom and a young and very talented newcomer performing her own original songs as well as other covers. We are determined that the musical legacy of the ballroom should live on”

Advance tickets for the concert cost £3 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or www.wegottickets.com. Any remaining tickets wii cost £4 on the door.